West Virginia’s economy depends heavily on the commercial motor vehicles that transport goods across our state. However, trucks can cause significant damage and life-threatening injuries when they are involved in collisions. The aftermath of a truck accident can leave victims in pain and financial turmoil. When a collision occurs due to another party’s negligence, the victim may also feel a burning sense of injustice.
You could be eligible for compensation if you suffered injuries in a truck accident. An experienced truck accident attorney at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC, will fight to hold the at-fault party accountable for what you’ve endured. Call or contact us online for a free consultation.
Main Causes of Truck Accidents
While truck accidents can happen for many reasons, a common thread tends to be human negligence. Some of the most common causes of truck accidents include:
- Distracted driving – If a trucker spends time looking at their phone, adjusting their navigation system, eating, drinking, or is otherwise distracted, they may not react quickly enough to avoid hazards or changing road conditions.
- Driver fatigue – Many truckers work long, non-traditional shifts that keep them awake during regular sleeping hours. Strict laws require them to take rest breaks to minimize the chances of falling asleep behind the wheel. However, the results can be disastrous if operators violate the hours-of-service regulations or drive while fatigued.
- Impaired driving – Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, and even some prescription medications may lack the awareness and coordination to drive safely.
- Improper cargo loading – Freight must be properly secured within the trailer to prevent trucks from becoming unbalanced. Improper loading can contribute to truck rollovers, jackknife accidents, and cargo spills on West Virginia roads.
- Vehicle malfunction – Some accidents happen because of poorly designed or manufactured parts and equipment. Other collisions occur when the truck’s owner or mechanic fails to implement necessary repairs.
- Poor weather or road conditions – Truck drivers must adjust their driving to suit weather and traffic conditions. Failure to do so can lead to devastating crashes.
Common Injuries Suffered in Truck Accidents
Truck accidents can cause catastrophic injuries due to the considerable size and weight disparity between a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle. Examples of truck accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – The violent forces involved in a truck collision can result in a harsh jolt to the brain, resulting in concussions, hematomas, and other forms of traumatic brain injury. TBIs can result in cognitive deficits, personality changes, and more.
- Spinal cord injuries – The impact of a collision can fracture, dislocate, crush, or sever the spine or spinal cord. These injuries can lead to paralysis, loss of sensation, impaired bladder and bowel control, and other complications.
- Amputation – Surgical amputation may be necessary If a body part gets crushed or severed in an accident.
- Organ damage – Internal organs such as the liver, kidneys, spleen, and lungs can suffer trauma in a truck accident, leading to massive internal bleeding and organ failure.
- Burns – Fires resulting from fuel ignition can engulf a passenger vehicle, leading to disfiguring and disabling burns.
What to Do After a Truck Accident in West Virginia
Being involved in a truck accident can come as a tremendous shock. Knowing what steps to take afterward can benefit your health and any future truck accident claim you wish to file. After a collision with a large commercial vehicle, be sure to:
- Seek immediate medical assistance – The shock you feel after an accident may initially mask any symptoms of injuries you suffered. Seeking early medical attention can allow your doctor to diagnose and begin treatment promptly. In addition, your medical records will connect your injuries with the date of the truck accident, increasing the likelihood that the insurance company will see a causal connection.
- Document the crash – In addition to getting a copy of the police accident report, taking photos of the crash site and collecting witness contact information can help lay the groundwork for a strong truck accident claim.
- Avoid making statements about the collision – Writing social media posts about your injuries and providing statements to insurance companies without getting advice from a Cheat Lake personal injury lawyer can harm your case.
- Contact a truck accident lawyer – Working with an attorney with extensive experience handling truck accident cases can help you maximize your claim. Let your attorney do all the work while you focus on your recovery.
Who is Liable for Truck Accidents?
In truck accident cases, multiple parties may share liability depending on the circumstances of the crash. Potentially liable parties can include:
- The truck driver
- The trucking company
- Vehicle manufacturers
- Government agencies
- Cargo loaders
- Bars and restaurants
- Other drivers
An experienced truck accident attorney can identify all liable parties and craft a solid truck accident claim demanding maximum compensation for your losses.
Statute of Limitations for WV Semi-Truck Accident Cases
West Virginia sets a deadline for injured people to take legal action against negligent parties. The statute of limitations stipulates that claimants must file a truck accident lawsuit within two years of the date of the crash. Fail to file on time, and you could lose your right to compensation. Working with a skilled attorney can ensure you file your claim within the limitations period.
Compensation Available for Truck Accident Claims in West Virginia
While all truck accident cases are different, injured individuals may be entitled to compensation for the following losses:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Property damage
Talk to an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer in Cheat Lake, WV Today
When filing a truck accident claim in West Virginia, your choice of attorney can make all the difference. You deserve to work with a lawyer with the experience, resources, and skills necessary to take on the trucking companies and their high-powered legal teams. Turn to the award-winning legal team at Robinette Legal Group, PLLC. Our legal team has a long track record of securing the compensation injured West Virginians need to move on with their lives. Contact us today for a free consultation.